View Full Version : Schroeder improvisational method

04-15-2004, 09:38 AM
The bass player in our band studied improvisation for Carl Schroeder a few years ago, at MIT LA, and he (our bass man) was kind enough to let me have his notes from those classes. I have not worked through it yet, but i'm am gonna do it now. I thought it would be nice to share it with you, it will suite as a gentle introduction for myself too. Please let me know if this is redundant material @ iBM.

Note: This is not an excerpt from any copyrighted material, such as the Wyatt/Schroeder book.

The class divided improvisation into 3 steps:

Step 1 (look at the Autumn Leaves paper in the attached file)
In step one, you start out by playing arpeggios, to provide insight of the chords in relation to the tonal center - that in this step is restricted to only major and minor. The important thing is to identify the chord's urge to move in different directions in relation to the tonal center. Cm7 want to go away, F7 want to go home, Bbmaj7 stays home, etc.

In short, step 1 consists of:
a) Arpeggios
b) Improvise using the scales noted in the Autumn Leaves paper.

Step 2 (look at The Girl From Ipanema in the attached file)
Step 2 is the middle step, where you replace the arpeggios with scales on each chord. Instead of improvising, you do something that Schroeders refers to as 'little flowers' . Little flowers means to use the characteristic notes of the scale, together with the most important chord notes - like a bunch of flowers. For example, look at the second chord - G lydian b7 over G7. Use the notes F (= the 7), B (= the 3rd), and C#, which is the #4 in lydian b7 over G. The important thing is to be patient, the ears needs time to get used to the new sounds. Over time you will develop a wider tonal range.

In short, step 2 consists of:
a) Scales
b) 'Little flowers'.
Practise over the chords from The Girl From Ipanema, and Stella By Starlight.

Step 3 (look at 500 Miles High in the attached file)
In step 3, you go back to the 'tonal center' thinking from step 1, but you bring along the ideas from step 2 with it. This is probably the fun part, where you get to use your new abilities.

In short, step 3 consists of:
a) Scales
b) 'Little flowers'
c) Tonal center. At this stage you should be able to 'hear' more notes over the chords than usual. Examples:
- In the first two bars you can use both the minor and major 6th (=9 notes, E minor + E dorian).
- In the next two bars you can use the major scale, with both the perfect and the augmented 4th (=9 notes, Bb major + Bb lydian)
- In the next six bars you can use all notes except the #4. If you feel like a little blues, you can use all 12 notes (A minor + B locrian + E alt + A dorian + F# locrian #2).
- In the next four bars you can use natural minor with both minor and major 6th (=9 notes, C minor + C dorian)
- And in the last two bars, you can use minor and major 2nd, and minor and major 7th (=10 notes, E minor + B alt).

Ok, that's all. I'm not sure i understand it all myself :). It should take at least a few days to work through, i guess. Let me know what you come up with!

04-15-2004, 09:41 AM
The attachement, and a crash course in swedish :)

moll = minor
dur = major

04-15-2004, 07:26 PM
That sounds pretty cool, Cuno.
It, actually reads fairly simple. Realizing and applying all those options would take me quite a while.
It's kinda' funny, I can listen to others use "altered notes" in a solo and it sounds great, makes perfect sense too me. When I try it myself,.......not so much, yet.


04-15-2004, 10:28 PM
The 'little flowers' thing sounds like chord clusters.

05-08-2004, 03:20 AM
Thanks Cuno for posting.
I always want to learn some jazz but don't know how to start, there are just too much materials around.
This is a good beginning.

Mystical Potato
05-08-2004, 09:57 PM
this is sweet. ive been needing to learn some improvisation so i can get into the advanced jazz ensemble at school. i hope this works...